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Shipping Container Architecture

Tuesday, 28th July 2009
ISO shipping containers are being used more and more in architecture projects for a number of reasons. Steel shipping containers are designed to carry heavy loads, to be stacked one on top of another when loaded and to withstand the rigours of intermodal transport. This inherent strength and durability makes them an ideal structural element. The modular nature of shipping containers also simplifies any architecture project. Their uniform size and build (particularly when using a series of containers built at the same factory) means that they are easily incorporated into a design or structure. Should the construction require additions at a later date it is just a case of stacking more containers. Containers are a relatively cheap option when comparing a similar size unit built with the same structural integrity from conventional building materials such as bricks, concrete or timber. When using second hand containers the green boxes are ticked as a significant part of the build would be achieved using recycled materials. Shipping containers are also easily transportable. The corner castings are designed to facilitate the lifting of containers by both conventional container handling equipment or chains and hooks as used by many, self unloading, crane mounted trailers. Having lifting points on all four corners means they are also easily turned on end.

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